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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Coming Soon to Toronto: Festival of Fear

on August 12, 2008 - 6:29pm

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In less than two weeks, Rue Morgue will be holding their annual Festival of Fear National Horror Expo in the Toronto Convention Centre.

I went last year and have mixed feelings about the event. As a horror fan, they had some impressive celebrity guests. As a Haunter/Halloweener, they had very little to get excited about. Most retailers weren't offering anything I hadn't seen around the city (either in speciality or party stores) and the prices were the same (or more expensive).

I'd gone to a workshop offered by a well known make-up artist complete with tips and free samples of their make-up line for making a classic Zombie look. Perhaps they didn't want to share complicated techniques in such a short time frame, but I was very disappointed.

I Spy with My Little Eye...

on August 11, 2008 - 5:47pm

green pumpkin hanging from a trellis
A simple blog post for a long, complicated Monday. Since I've spent the day dealing with what everyone else wants, I decided I would blog about something just for me. Something that makes me happy. Hopefully it will make a few of you smile as well. I want to share the view I see when I look out my home office window.

Located at the side of the house, my office overlooks the backyard of gardeners. And what are they growing this year? To my delight, it's pumpkins.

Boneyard BOOtique

on August 8, 2008 - 10:25pm

Flower with skull centre
For years, Spiderbaby (as she is known in the Haunting world) has been making jewelry, but it was only recently that her husband, Dagon began adding his own artistic expressions to her work. The result? The Boneyard BOOtique.

The couple, both fans of horror and Halloween, felt that others might appreciate their zombie and skull pendants and pins. Thus was the birth of their humble Etsy store.

We both really get into Halloween, horror movies, metal music, Gothic styles, and anything spooky so our art and craft projects reflect those interests. It also shows in the way we dress, our house DragonWyck Manor, and our two hearses.

Body Parts Bakery

on August 8, 2008 - 9:44pm

kid eating bread shaped like a face
Kittiwat Unarrom, now in his early 30's, has decided to go into the family business. In a bakery 100 km west of Bangkok, customers aren't greeted by sesame topped treats or dainty doughnuts. Instead they find body parts on hooks and plastic-wrapped decapitations.

Unarrom, an art graduate, took his talent for portrait painting and sculpting, and transitioned it to bread making. I think it's safe to say he is a new breed of baker in his hometown of Potharam, Thailand.

two flat faces sandwich wrapped
Hands, arms, feet, faces and entire torsos - each one so realistic I imagine they would be hard to consume - are waiting for hungry customers. The eeriness alone of seeing all the selection cling-wrapped like produce on lit display shelves is enough to make you shiver. I can only imagine having it on a plate in front of me.

Not feeling cannibalistic? Perhaps you could try the chicken and pig parts instead.

Oriental Trading Company: Delivering Crap Worldwide

on August 7, 2008 - 6:55pm

Black fake treePretty, isn't it? I mean, not beautiful, but not bad either. That's the image of the tree on the Oriental Trading Company website (don't look for a link. You won't find one here).

The description reads "Black Leaves Tree. Set an eerie Halloween scene with this painted wooden tree! Featuring silky, midnight black leaves, this elegant yet spooky tree makes a ghostly decoration for a haunted house."

Now, I know it's going to be cheesy looking (anything with fake leaves usually is) but I've jazzed up cheesy before. And since it was marked down about 40% off the original price, I won't care if it's a bit corny.

Keep in mind they used the words 'painted' and 'elegant' to describe the tree. The adjectives should have been 'splintered' and 'craptastic'. But I'm jumping ahead.

Three Ghoulish Cheers For Young Haunters

on August 6, 2008 - 10:26pm

young girl in bloody straight jacketWho says the youth of today have no determination or ability to plan ahead? Back when I was neck deep in work and this website was in shambles, I got an email from a young woman (we'll call her Emily the Strange) who said she was looking for Halloween theme ideas...in May (you're making me look bad in front of the other haunters, Emily).

Miss Strange was kind enough to send me pictures and descriptions of her haunt to use on my theme page. I'm finally at the point where I can do this (a mere 3 months later). But I wanted to make sure I gave Miss Strange her dues and salute her with her own blog post. Besides, it looks like the girl has no pupils in that picture. How gruesomely gorgeous is that?

Emily has been haunting her friend's yard for the past two years. Last year, under a pair of raging red eyes glowing in the upstairs window, they created a Demented Hospital complete with an i.v. bag (made by a pop bottle filled with water and food colouring which ran down a slim rubber tube) hanging next to a victim...er...patient, waiting to get her leg sawed off by the "crazy zombie doctor" (not just a zombie doctor...a crazy zombie doctor...the worst kind of doctor possible) as she screamed in pain.

Awful Edible Roasted Fleshworms & Bleeding Heart

on August 6, 2008 - 8:02pm

sausage wrapped with bacon that has a mouth and teeth
Ever wonder what it would take to make some of your friends queasy? Have I got a dish for you.

On imakeprojects.com you'll find not one, but two versions of this recipe (one with regular bacon, one with prosciuttoto) for Roasted Fleshworms.

Basically, pork tenderloin is wrapped with prosciutto and roasted. Dried spaghetti is broken into pieces for teeth. A slit is cut in the stomach area and chili is used for the...uh...guts.

One version is pretty straight forward while the second has you freezing the meat before you cook it. I understand his logic but question his process (there's got to be better ways to solve his dilemma. Read his post and you'll understand what I'm talking about).

A Tutorial: Paper Mache - The Ghoul Friday Way

on August 5, 2008 - 10:47pm

I've been asked a few times in the past if I have any tips on creating props using paper mache. I decided it was time to create a tutorial. In fact, I will be adding a collection of tutorials to the 'Horrific How To's' section in the next few weeks.

If you're interested in learning about a basic approach to paper mache, making simple mache casts of objects, and getting some advice from someone who has worked with this medium for a few years, I invite you to read Paper Mache - The Ghoul Friday Way.

I will announce any new tutorials as they are created. Hope you enjoy it!

Naoto Hattori, Artist

on August 4, 2008 - 9:16pm

Skeleton in a dress with a tree growing out of it. Woodland creatures nearby
Naoto Hattori is originally from Japan but has lived, studied and worked in New York for several years now. He went from graffiti tagging under bridges to creating company ads.

Hattori often gets hired for CD cover designs which suits him fine since he's a music fan and feels at home in the scene. You can also catch a glimpse of his art (perhaps only a fleeting glimpse) on snowboards and skateboards (keeping close to his graffiti-roots?).

What I like about him as an artist is that one picture can be soft, welcoming, almost disarming despite the gruesome undertones. The next can be completely in your face, pushing you back in your chair.

Hattori paints whatever fancies him; whatever pops into his head. You might say it reveals a darker side to him, but the man makes a good point about the public and his art:

Ghoul Friday's Wish List: Witch Lamp

on August 2, 2008 - 8:53pm

Lamp in the shape of a witch leg
Someone was talking about Grandin Road on a forum. Being Canadian, I'd never heard of the store. My first impression is Martha Stewart meets Pottery Barn with a hint of (overpriced) IKEA. They have some nice items for Halloween but it's way above my price point ($40 for a wreath. $100 for a lamp).

However...

If I were to create a Christmas wish list, I might have to put this little item near the top. Yes, it's borderline hideous but it reminds me of A Christmas Story ("the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window"); the beloved major award with a Halloween twist.

I especially like the skull at the very top.

Someone needs to tell my beloved Yetch that I've been eyeing this. And reassure him I'd put it in my office.

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